Cape Town - The new ASICS-designed and manufactured
Springbok jersey for the 2015 Rugby World Cup was launched at a glittering event in
Cape Town on Thursday, with the 100 day mark to the start of the global
showpiece fast approaching.
The launch of the iconic jersey is the culmination
of months of hard work by scientists at the ASICS Institute of Sport Science in
Kobe, Japan, in collaboration with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira, Eben
Etzebeth, Bismarck du Plessis, Duane Vermeulen, Willie le Roux, Cornal
Hendricks and Pat Lambie took part in an extensive testing programme in Japan
to fine tune the final product. They were accompanied by Springbok coach
Heyneke Meyer and other members of the management team.
The main aims in the design of the Springboks’
apparel were to reduce weight without compromising on strength. The jersey for
the World Cup will be the lightest ever worn by South Africa, at 70
grams lighter than any previous jersey.
It also has smooth surface making it harder
than ever before to keep hold of in the tackle, while an area which has seen
significant development after player insight is the Super-Grip silicone which
features on the chest of the jersey.
“The road to England
for the Rugby World Cup is a long one, and planning for it started a long time
ago,” said Jurie Roux, SARU CEO.
“You can be sure that no stone has been left
unturned by South African Rugby in the Springbok campaign.
“But today we unveil the first, and
one of the most critical elements of that process - our new ASICS-designed
Springbok Rugby World Cup jersey. We know our supporters have been dying to get
their hands on it.
“But this isn’t just a new
variation on a traditional theme of green and gold. It is a meticulously
designed and engineered jersey to give the Springboks the blend of comfort and
performance to give them the edge on the field.
“Every detail is designed to
benefit the wearer’s performance - because that is ASICS’ main driver and a key
consideration when we formed our partnership.”
Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS
Europe B.V., said they had put in hundreds of hours of hard work and meticulous
planning to ensure the Springboks have a competitive edge at the Rugby World
“We are passionate about
preparation and performance, as success is not an accident,” said Cameron.
“We have collected data and
insights from the Springboks and created products that actively enhance their
performance. Together with the South African Rugby Union we have developed a
kit which will help the Springboks in their ultimate aim of lifting and keeping
the Webb Ellis Cup.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers
said: “If we can
bottle the atmosphere and enthusiasm from this launch, then we’ll start the
Rugby World Cup on a very positive note. We’re amazed at the level of detail
and research that ASICS has put into creating the kit, which reflects the
detail we put into our own preparation.”
The Springboks Rugby World Cup
replica apparel will be available countrywide at all leading sports retailers
from June 5, 2015. For more information visit www.asics.co.za
Technical detail – Jersey
The Springbok rugby jersey features three key
areas of technical updates which bring a new level of detail to rugby jerseys.
ASICS understand the needs of rugby players and has developed technologies
aimed at improving performance.
Every aspect of the Springbok jersey has been
designed with the aim of reducing weight without compromising on strength. The jersey
made by ASICS will be the lightest jersey ever worn at a Rugby World Cup by the
Springboks. At 70 grams lighter than any previous rugby jersey it allows the
players to play with freedom and reduces fatigue, with small margins making big
Featuring two combined materials ASICS has
created a jersey with high tensile strength and a smooth surface making it
harder than ever before to keep hold of in the tackle. The mechanical weave is
designed to stretch, allowing players to bind to each other, but it also ‘snaps
back’ quickly making it hard for players to grip in the tackle.
An area which has seen significant development
after player insight is the Super-Grip silicone which features on the chest of
the jersey. The grip is graduated down the ribcage rather than being high on
the chest. Having graduated grip keeps weight down whilst also ensuring
critical areas used for protecting the ball when running and catching maintain
the most grip.
The reduced grip also has the effect of
improving the breathability in a key area of the shirt, something which
benefits the players throughout the duration of a high intensity test match.
The hexagon shapes featured on the jersey
provide the most points of contact with the ball, an important part of creating
the best grip.
By repositioning the grip lower on the ribcage
the players also feel a benefit in binding onto one another in scrum and maul
The level of detail from ASICS has been
extended across the jersey with the old woven logos making way for 3D badging
and hot melt technology. The addition of 3D badging has a significant effect on
the weight of the shirt, while also improving the visibility of the Springboks
logo on TV.
Technical detail – Socks
ASICS introduced graduated compression socks
into the Springboks apparel at the first launch. With the knowledge developed
from running products ASICS saw a clear performance benefit in bringing
graduated compression socks to rugby.
However, after working with players to gain
their insight the socks have been improved with a cotton footbed that improves
the traction of the foot on the boot.
The socks work to improve blood flow, this
alleviates fatigue, allowing players to play harder for longer as well as
aiding recovery post-game.
ASICS socks also feature a moisture wicking
yarn improving comfort and nano-glide technology in the heel and toe to stop